The Los Angeles Lakers traded Kyle Kuzma to the Washington Wizards in the deal that got them Russell Westbrook.
Things between Kuzma and L.A., right around the time he got dealt, were really bad. He was getting anonymously trashed by team officials on a weekly basis. Him and LeBron James were quite clearly not getting along.
It was rough.
So you can imagine everyone’s surprise, including Kuzma’s, when a report surfaced this past week suggesting that Los Angeles had interest in bringing him back.
In a conversation with Melissa Rohlin of Fox Sports, Kuzma couldn’t help but take a little shot at the Lakers over their newfound appreciation for him after previously discarding him.
“I think it just shows you the grass is not always greener,” Kuzma said.
“It’s definitely a good thing because at the end of the day, that means I’ve been playing well, and I have value in this league, that a team would want to trade for me. It’s a blessing.”
Kuzma also made it clear that his time in L.A. had its fair share of ups and downs.
“It’s a double-edged sword, a double-edged sword, for sure,” he said.
“I believe that it was some of the best things to ever happen to me, you know, getting drafted, being a Laker, having that platform. Having millions and millions of people globally know who you are, that’s a blessing. That’s part of being a Laker. Learning from LeBron, winning a championship — it’s all been great.
“But at the same time, I always look back and wish I would’ve gotten the fairer end of the stick a little bit, just with my role and how much I sacrificed. It’s cool to sacrifice. That’s the only way you win championships, everybody has to sacrifice.
“But, just getting the fairer end of the stick, I feel like I never really got [that]. But everything happens for a reason. I’m here now [in Washington], and I’ve been able to expand my game and flourish.”
Kuzma is currently in the midst of a career-best year, and it is reflecting in his trade value.
There are currently two legit suitors out there for him. And if nothing materializes, free agency also looms.
Russell Wilson has hit rock bottom. The photo speaks for itself. https://t.co/qTRbm8Ju6T
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 18, 2022
Kuzma has been on a roller coaster ride throughout his time in the NBA, but he finally seems to have the sort of control over his career that he has always craved.
What he will now do with that newfound control remains to be seen.